Despite having played a great deal of the original Borderlands and all of its DLC, I find it difficult to really say much about the second. No, I don’t think it’s derivative or that 2K did a poor job with it or anything, but the only way I can seem to describe it to someone is “It’s more Borderlands.”Â Which, if you enjoyed the original as immensely as I have, that’s all you need to know. But I realize a three word phrase is a bit bland in the description department, so I’ll do my best to humor you anyway.
In my hands on time with Borderlands 2, all four classes were completely playable, and even built up enough in levels to where I could disperse talent points and tinker with my character a bit. The Gunzerker class, one of the first revealed when the game was first announced, has the capability to dual wield any two weapons regardless of size. As you might imagine, this can lead to some pretty ridiculous combinations. The Siren class is used to lock down enemies, effectively being a crowd control class although they do have healing abilities at their disposal should they be required. The Assassin class is intended as a silent and deadly killer, being able to go invisible and see and strike critical points on foes. Finally, there’s the Commando class, which is the one that I eventually settled into. These guys get the auto turret that can be modified in various ways, even allowing you to teleport or create nuclear explosions (though the character I was using had neither of these abilities, sadly).
One of the first things I noticed when beginning the game is that the land you traverse is far less desolate than that of the original. Instead of traveling across endless deserts, you are in more futuristic looking venues. Supposedly, the final game will add even more variety as far as landscapes go, but for the time being it was nice to see a major change in scenery. Even the enemies themselves changed quite a bit; rather than being the Psychos and Midgets of old, now you face turrets and other mechanical constructs. This isn’t to say that familiar enemies won’t be present, but I didn’t notice any during my session.
One new feature that I noticed after getting gunned down my first time is that I no longer have to remain stationary while on the ground. Much like the later Gears of War games have done, I can crawl to a teammate in order to seek aid, or crawl towards an enemy whose demise will lead to my revival. It should prevent losing money to respawns due to a foe that is just out of reach. It’s a small change, but one I quickly picked up on and appreciated.
Upon speaking to one of the 2K reps there, I had asked what was the biggest difference between this game and the original. His response to me was that everything will be bigger. There will be more guns, more quests, and a number of things from the original will be fixed. I don’t know about you, but as vague as that answer was, I’m okay with it. Borderlands 2 will release September 18 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.